Government and Civil Service

Government and civil service

The Cabinet is composed of senior government ministers chosen by the Prime Minister. Most cabinet members are heads of government departments, and therefore have the title ‘Secretary of State’.

Government departments are led politically by a government minister, assisted by a team of junior ministers. The administration of the department is the responsibility of a civil servant known as a permanent secretary. Non-ministerial departments are headed by senior civil servants, and generally have responsibility for areas where political control is inappropriate – for example regulation or inspection.

The UK has members of three different parliaments:
- Members of parliament (MPs) refers to the House of Commons, the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. All members of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom have the letters MP after their names.
- MEPs are members of the European Parliament, the administration of the EU.
- MSPs are elected members of the Scottish Parliament.

Members of the National Assembly for Wales use the English title Assembly Member (AM) or the Welsh equivalent Aelod y Cynulliad (AC).

Elected members of the Northern Ireland Assembly are known as Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA).

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